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at as someone who has worked on cars, the average joe can't fix a new car now. the picture you just showed had nothing to do with electronics. that is crumple technology, crumple zones. >> hold on, bob. i will let you continue. >> there is a lot of technology, electronics prior to impact that now affect air bags, positions, they apply brakes, and that as electronics. the electronics have provided stability so that we don't lose cars in spins, and so i respectfully disagree. and from this world of regulation, we mentioned fuel economy and greenhouse gas reductions. there is no way that mechanical
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systems and the old carburetors in the area that i grew up in could meet those kinds of requirements. >> with the smog stuff, they're not doing that much with electronics. yet driven the price of electronic parts -- first of all, you can't fix the car as an average joe anymore. the mechanical parts are much cheaper than the electronic parts. it is to fold against the average joe that is trying to fix his car because it costs more, and he really can't do stuff that you used to be able to do. >> when you were trying to repair those in the 70's or 80's, he did not have engines that lasted as long as they do today, the power trains, the brake systems.
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there are costs, but if you look at inflation over the years, it is not out of proportion to where incomes are today. the beauty of automobiles is that you can go from low-end to as luxurious as you want. but even the lower end vehicles as far as pricing are now getting the benefit of the investments made in electric safety, total quality of the vehicle. there is no fair comparison of quality of vehicles from the '70s or '80s that seemed to be simple at the time to what they are today. >> thank you for being >>, the financial crisis inquiry committee looks into subprime lending. the 10-member congressional appointed panel hopes to publish
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its report of a financial crisis by the end of the year. this morning, the commission. from the former federal reserve chairman, alan greenspan. other witnesses include the citigroup risk managers who are expected to testify about their warnings to company executives. live coverage is on c-span 2 at 9:00 a.m. eastern. first lady michelle obama focused on childhood obesity and sits down with the studentcam winner from honolulu. that will be live on c-span this morning at 11:00 a.m. eastern. ble's greatest gift to -- latest gift to america. >> joining us now is the executive director of the center for auto safety. let me begin with the toyota
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possibility of getting a fine of $64 million from nhtsa. >> it is a well-deserved fine. first of all, toyota brag about saving $100 million in the format -- in the floormat recall. the imposition financially is peanuts. but it is a symbolic message more than a dollar a message. >> if it is peanuts, does congress me to increase the amount that nhtsa is allowed to find? >> absolutely. one judge imposed a $2.40 billion fine last year. the epa has an unlimited cap. if we matched the epa, it would
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be $25,000 a vehicle, and no cap whatsoever. >> and that is why nhtsa came forth with an unprecedented amount. >> toyota knew the system. they withheld information from the agency. it made the agency look like a regulator that was not very effective. that is really because it does not have the resources and it does not have the legal tools that it needs. when toyota took advantage of that, the agency had no choice but to levy the maximum fine. >> what should congress do to give it what it needs? >> what congress needs to do is to increase the budget by at least $125 million.
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they'll have a couple of pennies per vehicle on the road, and they should increase the employees at least threefold. right now, in the enforcement area, they have about a hundred 19 employees. -- 119 employees. you have hundreds of equipment manufacturers that they have to regulate. >> the budget is $867 million, how much of that is for auto safety? >> about 2/3 of the budget goes toward drunk driving laws, seat belt use. in terms of the vehicle, because it is so complex, it has about $200 million. >> nasa has been called in to help nhtsa. does n -- is nhtsa capable of
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doing this on their own or do they have to go to another agency? >> they have the good weather agency because they don't have the manpower or the electronics engineers. if something causes the vehicle to suddenly accelerate, they know it wasn't the computer because they switched it. they could never determine what was wrong with that computer. >> wrapping up the federal oversight -- in the from rochester, minn., you are on the air. >> i don't know about what the gentleman just said, he was a mechanic. if a fix one thing, another thing goes wrong.
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i was wondering, will they have to call back to get it from their country, and how much more data is being held back from going out on the field? >> i want to make sure that we understand your question. >> toyota is a leader of electronics, the things like the vintage data recorder, -- teh event -- the event data recorder. you have to send out to other manufacturers to allow the device to read out what happened in the crash. toyota's have more complex electronics. >> should new consumers by toyota cars?
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>> that is a really hard question. we publish a book every year, the best bets. there is not a single toyota or lexus that has been recalled -- that have been recalled that is the best bet. >> do other companies have similar problems like we have seen with toyota that consumers do not know about? >> every manufacturer has a problem. in terms of unintended acceleration, toyota is far and away -- they can't explain what goes wrong, and the government has done investigations with no for it -- floormat. it comes down to electronics. toyota hasn't gotten to the bottom of that, and it does not make sense.
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>> mark in new york, go ahead. >> am i on? >> you are, go ahead. go ahead with your question or comment. >> i wanted asked about the new cars they had today. i know they have in your bodies and they are small. but i want to know, how come they don't make any cars like he 225 -- the 225 that had the long bodies? . .
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>> you was on a dirt road, turning onto pavement and as he turned about 15 or 20 miles per hour, thankfully, he did not hit anything because there was nothing to hit. he did not go over a bump, nothing. we immediately -- his airbag went off. onstar came on. i almost took that same truck and would have been out on a double highway if i was in the same situation. he had started t it and it went
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off like this after about 3 miles. we took it to the dealer we bought it from. we had 25,000 miles on it. still under full warranty and they called some guy from detroit to come out and look at it. they had their inspectors look at it. we thought there would be no problem. they said that my husband had washed out the truck mapped out in the center got what. insurance would not cover it because it was not a defect. i said what if my granddaughter poured a cup of tea and that same vulnerable spot that apparently water got into. i am wondering if you have any other silverado pickup trucks that have had this problem? >> i do not know about silverado trucks but gm did recall for air
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bag sensors that get wet. there is a design flaw. that sensor should not have gone off. it should have been waterproof. a piece of practical advice, take gm and your insurance company to small claims court and let them appoint figures at each other and sort it out. >> next phone call from oakland, california. >> i was wondering if anybody has checked out the possibility of cell phones or any other electronic hand-held device causing an interruption in the car computer? >> there have been three recalls were cell phones have caused the electronic transmission in a vehicle to solve actuate. clearly, cell phone interference can do that. you have to find the right frequency, the right location
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and the testing to do this is incredibly complicated. there is no doubt about it, based on the recalls, cell phone interference can trigger the electronics and make them act inappropriately. >> barbara in florida. >> are the highway and street lanes wide enough for traffic moving at 70 miles per hour? >> they are required by a geometric design standards to be wide enough for doing that. the issue is with some big trucks that are on the smaller highways.
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basically, the highways are designed for safety. designed for safety. what are they host: does congress share the blame? r guest: they had been conducting oversight which they did not do. host: nebraska's next. caller: i had a couple of comments. i was driving my mom in a 1993 buick le sabre from one town to another to visit her father's grave. i had the cruise control on. when i tapped the break to knock it off and we went into town, we
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got close to the graveyard and i went to push on the brake and the car sped up. i asked my mechanic later what happened and he said you have to turn the thing off on the turn signal finge for -- turn signal thing to override the cruise control. that was back in 2002. does that have anything to do whaith what is do not with toyo? my father invented the he did win showed wiper. he could not get anybody. he tried like crazy. he could not get anybody to go along with it. he had the gas develop it put a deal in colorado on the thing
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that goes through after all the skiers are down because they were always burning up this to that goes down. the cat that worked for delorean -- the guy that worked for delorean, the guy had a snow mobile company. he saw this and he said i would like to get 100,000 of those. my dad was just developing it. we tried to general motors and ford and everybody and they just kept turning us down. >> with the invention, they do not want to pay royalties on an outside invention in the automobile industry. gm has recently installed some heater window wiper devices.
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getting the company to put it on their cars, you are up for a battle. in terms of your buick, there were a couple recalls for cruise controls that did exactly what you talked about on gm vehicles and you can contact our website and file a complaint >> another tweet from one of our viewers. what are their extremely few unresolved cases in europe where there is a larger economy and population? he is making the claim that there are fewer unresolved cases in europe compared to the u.s.? >> they have to define unresolved cases. europe, if you look at those vehicles, there are a lot more vehicles with break overrides.
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that would explain fewer sudden acceleration cases in europe. second, european drivers are more adapted shifting into neutral and using breaks to bring a car under control. >> back to this country, how many complaints does nhtsa get? >> they only get about 20,000 to 40,000 complaints per year. they used to get 100,000 or 200,000 per year. >> how are they handled? >> not very well. the agency, this gets into the resource issue. they do not have enough investigators to go through every complaint. what you find is the complaints mass up until there is a critical mass and it should be a warning system when they look at things as they come in. >> take cod, massachusetts.
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>> thank you. i was wondering if it is in the manufacturer's best interest to make cars? >> absolutely. safety sales. -- safety sells. it is the regulatory equivalent of war against the air bags in the early 1990's. manufacturers cannot sell enough air bags these days. >> what about the fact that nhtsa's a budget grew from 1980 from $15 million to $434 million. it seems as though it is going to keep going up.
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>> more of that money went into the driver programs, the highway programs, then it did into vehicle programs. we have been in balance. if you look at the entire department of transportation budget, about 99% of all transportation-related deaths but only 1% of the budget is for vehicle safety. >> joe in new jersey. >> i was wondering about the importance of speed on the roads and how you are going to be calling into that as time goes by because we do not talk enough about it. you just mentioned about the europeans having automatically
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shifting into neutral. i was wondering if you mentioned that when you talk about these increases in speeds with these cars that are getting like that. >> you are talking to the group that is strongly in favor of the now defunct 55 mile per hour speed limit. if you are driving down the road at 70 miles per hour, you are covering much more ground than you are at 55. the energy of the vehicle goes up proportion to the velocity -- proportional to the velocity. you have a lot more to handle. the higher the speed, the less safe. if society has made a compromise of 65 on most roads. we are a consumer group founded by ralph nader backed in 1970. we get the ford pinto recalled. we have gotten airbags in every car. we are a very happy group.
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we will get toyota behind us, too. >> thank you. my question, i have been watching c-span all day asking these executives, why are they going so easy on them? if it was an american-made auto company, they would get nasty with them. it is like they are afraid to speak up. we just got done talking about the ford pinto. they forced that out of production. the core of there, they forced that out of production. -- the corvair, they forced that out of production. >> if you look at the fine but the government wants to collect, that is 16 times higher than
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the highest to date. i dare say that toyota would say that you are picking on us at not gm. we look at the government as an equal opportunity regulator. if an auto company does>> we wi. >> this year's studentscam asked middle school and high-school students to create a five-eight minute video to address this country's greatest strengths. here is one of the third-place winners. >> there are many challenges that our country is facing. however, the greatest of these challenges are the abuse of alcohol by minors. these united states had many
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strengths but with every strength there are bad effects. >> alcohol is far and away the top drug of abuse by american teens. children under the age of 21 drink 25% of the alcohol consumed in the united states. more than 5 million high-school students admit to binge drinking at least once a month. the age of which children began drinking is dropping. since 1975, the proportion of children who began drinking in a crate or earlier has jumped by about 1/3. >> alcohol abuse has become a weakness of the united states. every day three teens died because they have been drinking under the influence. the as a total of nine people per day. -- that is a total of nine
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people per day. >> we all know that drunk driving has been a leading factor in fatal crashes. in 2008, about 1/3 of all highway deaths were alcohol related. >> i would say about 1/3. >> children come to this store and they try to buy up the store honor is cautious and check id. >> about 8% of the people go in and try to buy alcohol and we actually have to arrest them. >> 16.4% of sixth graders by their beer at a store, a bar, or a restaurant . >> a child's home or a child's
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friends home is the major source of alcohol for young children to is a major source for all children. >> most of the alcohol consumed by under age votes is not bought by them. it is bought by adults. >> when alcohol is ingested, it functions. >> alcohol affects learning and memory which changes our behavior. it is involved with inventory control. >> not only did alcohol cause physical trauma buttock and also lead to other addictions.
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>> teen drinking is the number- one source of adult alcoholism. children who begin drinking before age 21 are more than twice as likely to develop alcohol-related problems and those to begin tracking before age 15 are four times more likely to become a college. underage drinkers are at greater risk of nicotine and the illegal drug addiction. >> have you ever had any experience with alcohol? >> yes, on new year's last year, we had a party at my grandmother's house. the people who were drinking or under age. but my cousin thought it was ok for them to drink because they think they should get experience with alcohol so they don't abuse it. >> parents tend to see drinking and occasional benjamin has the right of passage -- and
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occasional binge drinking as a rite of passage. >> these kids are not listening to things people have told parents are not as concerned about what the children do. >> personally, i think it will be worse because the future does not look too bright for us. some people say it can get better. for teenagers who use up all now, it will be hard for them to get a job and their children will be influenced by their parents. >> may have died and many will continue to die if we do not stop this abuse. >> to see all the winning entries incam this entries inc competition, visits didn'tcam.or.

CSPAN April 7, 2010 6:30am-7:00am EDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Toyota 13, Nhtsa 7, Europe 4, Us 4, United States 3, Gm 2, America 1, California 1, Massachusetts 1, Oakland 1, Honolulu 1, Rochester 1, Alan Greenspan 1, Bob 1, Michelle Obama 1, Ralph Nader 1, Nebraska 1, Florida 1, New York 1, Delorean 1
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